Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm afraid, I'm very afraid

Just in time for Halloween too. But I'm not scared of ghosts and goblins.  Oh no.  I'm much more concerned about content control.  What do I mean by that? It suddenly struck me yesterday as I listened to Google Evangelist Jamie Casap's keynote at TechCon yesterday, that the "72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute" (yes, you read that correctly) could suddenly disappear. Wow, that'd be a lot of lost data!

I am not trying to cause widespread panic.  There was no indication that YouTube was anywhere near headed to the deadpool.  That being said, we are quickly headed to a world on the web that is more about content creation not content consumption.  But what are we doing with this data?  More and more often, we are placing and creating it directly on the web.  How do we create an exit strategy for this?

Perhaps my fear is escalated by the fact that I just watched the first 3 episodes of Revolution - A television series based on the concept of a world without electricity.  At one point Maggie Foster and Aaron Pittman are discussing why Maggie carries her now "useless" cell phone.  It turns out that all of the photos and videos ever taken of her children are on it. OK, that's an extreme scenario; but, it's a sobering thought that could happen.  I know even as a self proclaimed "Geek" I often forget to unload that SD card until Snap - suddenly there is no room left.

Now I'm not advocating printing out every photo and making backup copies of your backup copies.  But this series of events has got me thinking of the fact that I do have content scattered across the web and that some of it may just be the only copy in existence.

So what's the solution?  I'm not sure.  Perhaps better organization?  Maybe a Web 2.0 tools that tracks your content across sites and allows you to back it all up to a large hard drive?  Does such a site already exist?

Is there a point to this post or am I just rambling on?

I think there is.  We are slowly moving away from the generations that kept everything.  And that's probably a good thing.  But are we going to the other extreme where we keep nothing and blindly expect that the Internet will just be there in the future?  That's what scares me.  Content should not be disposable - but our resources to store that content are far from limitless.

What are your thoughts?  Add a comment and continue the conversation.

3 comments:

Alice said...

Jim, that's a lot to think about. The idea of keeping everything on the web makes me feel secure. After all their back ups have to be better than mine! On the other hand I like knowing where my "stuff" is and as a result I have multiple places fir keeping things. Then I am frustrated because I can't keep up.

Would love a Web 2.0 tool to track it all, but I think that more realistically I need to be able to make decisions about what things are really the keepers.

James Gubbins said...

I agree whole heartedly Alice with your deducation that the tools have much more powerful backups than you or I could ever afford. But what about when an utility joins the "deadpool" unexpectedly? Sure, they ofetn give you a timeframe to grab your stuff before they go dark - but I have been caught in situations where I missed the email announcing that said company was shutting down. Since posting I have found a few utilities that allow you to access many of your cloud utilities simultaneously like backupify.com as an example. I think you are correct though that in reality we need to make decisions about what really needs to be kept and have a strategy in place for doing so. Thanks for the comment!

James Gubbins said...

Another prime example of losing amazing content. Kevin Honeycutt had a wonderful quote in "What a PLN is..." an article he wrote for ESSDACK.org in which he said "We share our strengths and suppliment our weaknesses" Unfortunately, the only place I can find that quote now is in a teaser to the article that is on the now defunct mobile.me As quickly as we are putting our knowledge out on the web we seem to be loosing it!

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